Kent MP Appears In Court

A Kent Conservative MP has appeared in court facing charges over his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 alongside Marion Little, 62, and Nathan Gray, 28.

Last month, the 50-year-old held on to the  South Thanet seat with an increased majority of 6,387, just one week after it was announced he would be prosecuted.

Mackinlay, who gave his address as Ramsgate, arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday morning with his wife Kati.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the decision to press charges came after an investigation by Kent Police concerning allegations relating to Conservative Party expenditure during the 2015 election campaign and before the June 11 statutory time limit on prosecutions.

In 2015 Mackinlay beat Nigel Farage, the then Ukip leader, into second place with a majority of almost 3,000.

Mackinlay faces two counts of making a false election expenses declaration while his election agent Gray, of Red Oak, in Hawkhurst, Kent, faces one.

Campaign director Little, of New Road, in Ware, Hertfordshire, faces three counts related to aiding Mackinlay and Gray in making false declarations.

All three defendants indicated not guilty pleas when the charges were read to them.

 

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